PRESS RELEASE – GREEK SOLIDARITY COMMITTEE
Troika blackmail against Greece unacceptable attack on democracy
- Withdrawal of ELA support is an attempt to intimidate Greeks from a free vote
- Finance Minister Noonan one of early proponents of this move, must explain himself to Irish people
- Large coalition assembled to march in support of Greece on July 4th in Dublin
The withdrawal of normal ELA assistance from Greek banks, which has precipitated their closure this week, is a political decision by the ECB and its allies in the Troika to intimidate the Greek people ahead of their referendum, the Greek Solidarity Committee said on Monday.
According to the Financial Times this blackmail against an elected government and its right to hold referendums on issues of national importance was supported last week by Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan.
The Greek Solidarity Committee believes that this hardline stance by Minister Noonan against the Greek people and their government is not supported by the Irish people. We challenge him to explain himself to the people he is supposed to be representing and invite him to a debate on the issue.
On Sunday evening a large coalition was assembled at short notice to offer support to Greece during this seminal week for democracy in Europe. The wide range of political parties, trade unions, civil society organisations and members of the Greek community present have decided to call a demonstration in Dublin for July 4th.
#IrelandstandswithGreece — we say NO too! will take place from 12pm at the Central Bank, chosen because of the bank’s complicity in the ECB’s cutting off of support to Greece’s banks this week.
On Saturday we will join demonstrators in cities across Europe in standing with the Greek people as they say OXI / NO to the Troika – its antidemocratic practices, its austerity policies and its lack of mandate to decide our futures.
Thomae Kakouli, a representative of the Greek community in Ireland, said, “The Greeks in Ireland, and the world over, call the peoples of Ireland, Europe and the world to stand by Greece in solidarity in this difficult time. We refuse to bow and surrender our Motherland’s sovereignty, and we stand in defence of Greek democracy.”
Jimmy Kelly, Regional Secretary, Unite the Union: The issue couldn’t be starker. On one side we have a European technocratic elite intent on forcing the Greek people to endure more suffering in order to subsidise creditors and finance capital. On the other side are the Greek people themselves, exercising their democratic right to reject austerity. We must stand by the people of Greece.”
Michael Taft, economist: “The policy prescriptions pursued by the EU Commission, the ECB and the IMF have been a clear and manifest failure in Greece. Instead of negotiating a fair solution to the crisis – which will inevitably involve a debt write-down and suspension of austerity measures – the Troika have resorted to blackmail by attacking the Greek banking system and threatening expulsion from the Eurozone. Standing up for the Greek people is also standing up for European solidarity and rational economic policy.”
Andy Storey, academic in UCD’s School of Politics, said, “This is not, and never has been, about ‘bailing out’ the Greek people – it is about slashing Greek pensions to bail out Greece’s lenders. The EU’s insistence on measures like pension ‘reform’ shows that they want not only to maintain those illegitimate debt repayments, they want to do so by overriding the agenda of the democratically elected Greek government. A NO vote next Sunday is not only for democracy in Greece – it is for democracy in all of Europe.”
Ronan Burtenshaw, co-ordinator of the Greek Solidarity Committee, said, “This Saturday’s demonstration will bring together the widest coalition to date in support of Greece. It will totally reject the reprehensible behaviour of the Irish government in lining up behind unelected technocrats to bully the Greek people. Many Irish people are ashamed by this – and we will be sending a clear message from Dublin to Athens that our government does not represent us on this issue.”
CONTACT – available for interviews:
Ronan Burtenshaw, Greek Solidarity Committee — 0861741254
Michael Taft, Unite economist — 0877640218
Andy Storey, School of Politics UCD — 0876543872
Thomae Kakouli, Greek community in Ireland — 087 622 5969